AMHERST, N.S. – Canada Winter Games alumni offered insight into what the Canada Winter Games have to offer during a pep rally Feb. 4 at Spring Street Academy elementary school in Amherst.
“The biggest thing for me was it taught me a lot about adversity,” said Hal Davidson. “Adversity becomes the fuel for success.”
Davidson was a guest speaker at the pep rally for 2019 Canada Winter Game athletes Jacob Melanson and Jake Adams.
Both athletes are students at Amherst Regional High School. Fifteen-year-old Melanson is playing hockey at the 2019 winter games, and 16-year-old Adams is snowboarding.
Davidson’s hockey team earned a silver medal for Team Nova Scotia at the 1975 Canada Winter Games, losing to Alberta in the championship game.
“We weren’t the most skilled hockey team but we had a character hockey team,” said Davidson. “We also had Mac Davis, you give him the puck and he will score, but our team was based on character and adversity.”
Davidson says he wasn’t a scholar but, nonetheless, because of his Canada Winter Games experience Dalhousie University came knocking and recruited him.
“It opened a lot of doors,” said Davidson.
He wished the same for Melanson and Adams.
“For Jacob and Jake, I’m saying the sky’s the limit,” said Davidson. “The Canada Games are a lot of fun and it opens up a lot of doors, and I wish you the best of luck.”
Corey Crocker, a hockey player for Team Newfoundland at the 1995 Canada Winter Games, also said the games will open doors for Melanson and Adams.
“Like Hal said, the games do indeed open opportunities, it opened opportunities for me,” said Crocker. “There will be scouts there from the National Hockey League and scouts from the National Snowboarding team.”
Crocker’s team came fifth at the 95 winter games.
“Finishing fifth was very good for Newfoundland at that time, but what stood out was going to the opening ceremonies and seeing all the different coloured jackets the provinces had on and watching athletes waive their flags and being proud of where they come from.”
What he remembers most was proudly representing Newfoundland and wearing the Newfoundland crest on his jersey. He hopes Melanson and Adams experience the same feelings of pride for Nova Scotia.
“You represent your province but you also represent the town of Amherst,” said Crocker. “There’s going to be a whole community behind you, checking scores, and checking stats while you’re at the games.”
Bill Schurman, also a alumni of the Canada Winter Games, wished the athletes good luck as well.
“Like Corey, I don’t remember how we did but I remember meeting people from all across the country having the same experiences I was,” said Schurman. “We’re proud of you and proud of your family and all of the friends who have helped you get to where you are.”
The Canada Winter Games run from Feb. 15 to March 3 in Red Deer Alta.